The perfect recipe for winter snow days, packed with feel-good ingredients!
by- Posted on Nov 1, 2005
Ask any kid: The best pick-me-up on a winter's day is a steaming mug of hot cocoa.
Ask scientists and they'll tell you chocolate has a number of mood-elevating compounds, including anandamide and phenylethylamine.
Dark chocolate is good for the heart too: It's full of disease-fighting flavonoids (a recent study showed it lowers blood pressure in hypertensive people).
To maximize the feel-good factor, I've added another mood-lifter: peppermint.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 cups low fat or skim milk
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
¼ cup sugar
1 cup chilled whipped cream (optional)
8 red-and-white-striped peppermint hard candies, coarsely crushed (optional)
1. Combine cornstarch with cocoa powder in 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add cold milk.
2. Whisk until well blended.
3. Add chocolate to saucepan. Bring mixture just to a boil over moderate heat, whisking until chocolate is melted.
4. Add peppermint extract and sugar. Simmer mixture, whisking, 1–2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
6. Serve in mugs. Top with whipped cream, if desired. For a festive garnish, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.